Get Ready for a 'Summer of Terror'
By the end of July last year, I noted that from the time of the Pulse dance club attack in Orlando that killed 49, Western countries were seeing ISIS-inspired terror attacks at the rate of one every 84 hours.
The pace slackened slightly over the next two months, but last summer I termed it the "Summer of Terror":
And now, just hours before the beginning of the Christian Holy Week and a few days before Jewish Passover, the events of this past week may indicate that we're seeing the beginnings of yet another "Summer of Terror" comparable to last year's or perhaps surpassing it.
Just this week we've seen terror attacks in:
- St. Petersburg, Russia
- Vaucouleurs, France
- Queanbeyan, Australia
- Ofra, West Bank
- Stockholm, Sweden
St. Petersburg, Russia
On Monday, a nail bomb carried by a suicide bomber ripped through a metro train in St. Petersburg; the attack, at last count, killed 14 people.
During the course of the investigation more devices were discovered:
The suspected bomber, Akbarzhon Jalilov from Osh, Kyrgyzstan, became radicalized and traveled to Turkey in November 2015, at which point a large gap emerges in his biography.
It's unclear whether Jalilov entered Syria and possibly trained with terrorists. So far, eight others have been arrested in connection with the bombing.
Monday night, Sarah Lucy Halimi, a 66-year-old doctor and Orthodox Jew, was stabbed while in her bed and then thrown over her third-floor balcony by a 27-year-old Muslim neighbor while he shouted, "Allah Akhbar":
During a police interview, the suspect said that the Koran commanded him to kill her. Halimi was buried in Israel on Thursday.
Two teens, aged 15 and 16, are under arrest after a crime spree and horrific murder in Queanbeyan, near Canberra.
According to reports, the two teens murdered Pakistani student Zeeshan Akbar and smeared "IS" for "Islamic State" on the walls and window of the service station where Akbar was working. Police are investigating whether the pair was involved in similar stabbings in the area this week.
Both of the unnamed teens were extradited back to New South Wales and apparently one of the teens, who was already known to law enforcement, has ties to terrorism.
Police officials said they are investigating the stabbing spree as an act of terrorism.
Ofra, West Bank
On Thursday, a Palestinian rammed a car into the bus stop at Ofra junction, killing one IDF soldier and injuring another:
The suspect, 22-year-old Malik Hamad, is from the neighboring town of Silwad, former home to several senior Hamas leaders.
The Jerusalem Post notes that Hamad had been scouting for an opportunity to attack:
In the minutes before the attack, he had traveled up and down the road apparently seeking a target. Although the bus stop has protective bollards and cement blocks around it, he was still able to find a vulnerable spot and smashed into the two soldiers.
Hamad was arrested by soldiers after his vehicle skidded off the sidewalk and into the shrubbery.
Killed was 20-year-old Sgt. Elchai Teharlev of Talmon.
This incident is of special interest to me as I visited Ofra in August 2011, meeting a number of members of the Jewish community there. A number of attacks have previously targeted the Ofra community.
Police have arrested a suspect in Friday afternoon's horrific ramming attack in a shopping area of downtown Stockholm that killed four people and severely wounded several others.
CCTV footage shows the shocking speed that the killer took as he barreled through the pedestrian street, reportedly targeting children:
An explosive device was found in the truck after it rammed into a department store, but it did not explode:
The suspect, who hijacked a beer truck for the attack, is a 39-year-old man from Uzbekistan:
Some reports indicate that the suspect was already known to Swedish intelligence, but they deemed the threat he posed as "marginal":
But there are indications that he had not only been involved in past terror investigations, but had also posted ISIS videos online:
Several others have been arrested in the investigation, and police faced resistance in the immigrant neighborhood of Rinkeby when they were making arrests:
Are we looking at the beginnings of another "Summer of Terror"? Possibly.
What we see in the Stockholm attack is yet another incident of what I have termed "Known Wolf" terrorism, where the suspect was already known to authorities before the attack -- a problem I've noted repeatedly here at PJ Media.
Stockholm is also yet another case of ramming attacks encouraged by ISIS:
Since the ramming attack in Nice, France, last July, several other such attacks have occurred, killing on average about 12 people a month since that time:
As ISIS and other terror groups are pressured in Syria and Iraq, foreign fighters that have fought and trained with these groups are making their way back to their home countries, including many from Europe:
And the threat posed by those fighters doesn't appear to be going away anytime soon:
So we may be looking at yet another "Summer of Terror" after all. Let's pray that's not the case.